Wednesday, 12 May 2010

'New Politics' in Number 10

So Nick Clegg has got into bed with the Tories, and we now have a new Prime Minister: Old Etonian and fifth cousin twice removed of Queen Elizabeth II, Dave "he's just like one of us" Cameron. The BBC notes that he's the first Old Etonian to hold the office since the early 1960s - well aren't we a progressive country! On the brightside the more despicable aspects of Tory policy will undoubtedly be restrained by the Liberal Democrat coalition; although I'd hate to be one of the millions of Liberal Democrat voters who have given such a disgusting Tory party a veneer of respectability.

Nick Clegg has been the first of the four Liberal Democrat leaders I have disliked - I've said it long before today. He encompasses so much of what is wrong with modern politics: the gloss, the bullshit, the desire to be seen as your friend. In this, the same as Cameron, he is undoubtedly an heir to Blair - although he is careful to talk of 'new politics' rather than something as trite as a 'third way'. Whereas I was pleasantly surprised with how much the Labour Party achieved under Blair (although I continue to dislike the man), I have less hope of being surprised at the end of the following parliament. Although the is one glimmer of hope: the Tory desperation to form a government.

The compromises that have already been made by the Tory party to form a coalition government reek of its desperation. The Tory party has backed 'modernising' Cameron over the past five years purely as a way to get into government, and the government had to be formed - whatever the price. Failure by Cameron would have consigned the party to the wilderness for another 13 years as it ripped itself apart searching for an electable face. It remains to be seen whether the price they are willing to pay today, will still seem such a bargain in six months time. With such a volatile period ahead it seems a bizarre time to propose 5-year fixed term parliaments; it'll be interesting to see whether its workable in 5-months.

Personally I would rather have had a passionate, bloody-minded, cantankerous PM who stood for what he believed in. Someone who listened to the experts, made a decision, and if necessary told the ignorant masses to f-off. Unfortunately democracy doesn't allow that, and we seem condemned to a future of Britain's Got Political Bullshit. Forget convictions, just say you're doing it for your gran.

I'm not generally a big fan of revolutions, preferring the gradual change that has been the primary characteristic of British politics, but I must admit that the envisioned mediocre politics of the future is almost enough to make me reach for the pitchfork.

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